December 17, 2015
Public Advisory: Pension Regulators Declare Wind-up of Wabush Mines Pension Plans
The provincial Superintendent of Pensions advises that the provincial Superintendent of Pensions and the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions have made a joint decision to wind-up the union pension plan sponsored by Wabush Mines. The provincial Superintendent of Pensions has also declared the wind-up of the company's non-union pension plan.
The decision to wind-up these plans was carried out under the authority of the provincial and federal regulators. These regulators, acting in the best interests of pension plan members, have made the decision to wind-up these plans because:
- The company has been in creditor protection for a protracted period of time, and it appears unlikely that the plans could continue as a going concern under a new sponsor;
- The Quebec court overseeing Wabush Mines creditor protection proceedings set December 18 as the final date for making creditor claims against the company; and
- Special payments towards the deficits in the plans were suspended last May 2015 as part of creditor protection proceedings. This negatively affected the financial position of the plans. In addition, retirees have continued to be paid full pension benefits, impacting members who have not yet retired.
Once the plans are wound up and all legislative requirements have been met, pension benefits will be distributed among the plan members. The process of winding up a pension plan is complex, and can take up to three years to conclude, but pensioners will continue to avail of benefits throughout the process. An interim adjustment to pension benefits can be expected as early as February 2016. Plan members who have questions about specific details regarding of Wabush Mines pension plans are encouraged to contact Cliffs Natural Resources directly.
Plan members with questions for the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions should be directed to 1-800-385-8647 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Plan members who have questions regarding provincial pension laws can contact the provincial Superintendent of Pensions at 709-729-6014 or email@example.com. Service NL staff will be in Wabush on Saturday, December 19, to conduct information sessions about the wind-up process. More information about the time and location of these sessions will be provided tomorrow (Friday, December 18).
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Director of Communications
2015 12 17 12:00 p.m.